SwannEye HD Wi-Fi Security Camera Hardware Review

SwannEye HD Wi-Fi Security Camera Hardware Review

Jun 4, 2014

Even security is mobile nowadays, and Swann has been championing the cause for a while; we recently had an opportunity to review its smartdevice-enabled SwannEye ADS-445 HD IP Netwrk Camera.

The review package is packed. Literally. Manuals in different languages, warranty info, power cord, ethernet camera, installation software, camera stand, antenna, bracketing screws, security stickers and, of course, the camera itself.

The device itself is slight by sturdy; it really cannot be described as heavy, but it does carry a bit more heft than might be guessed before holding it at 0.73 lbs. It’s made up of the rotating and oscillating camera head, which is held up from the base on a swiveling platform specially designed to accommodate the varied movements. On the side of the camera is an SD card slot, and at the back are ports for the DC 5V power and LAN, as well as audio in and out, alarm input, and just above, there is a speaker.

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Towards the front, at the bottom, are LED lights indicating on status and connectivity, and a subtle built-in microphone. The camera lens itself is surrounded by a light sensor and a bunch of infrared LED lights.

Connectivity to a computer is easily achieved via the software, but for the purposes of this review, we were really interested in the mobile component. Using the SwannEye app available on the Play Store, a control connection can be established, and via gestures, the camera responds to basic commands. Video can be recorded to SD cards up to 32GB (using an Eyefi card is a cool option). The app also allows one to share images via connected networks.

There is noticeable lag when using the app, lag that isn’t as severe when using the Windows version. The software can be temperamental at times, but once one gets it up and running, it works for the long haul. Unobtrusive mounting is a bit hamstrung by the power requirement as well. The video quality was better than expected though, with the camera capable of 720p 1280 x 720 at up to 30 frames per second.

For wi-fi based camera needs, this camera is a formidable option, and the motion-detection is a great feature. The pluses outweigh the drawbacks.

Dropcam Camera and Android App Makes It Easy to Keep Eye on Home From Anywhere

Dropcam Camera and Android App Makes It Easy to Keep Eye on Home From Anywhere

Oct 15, 2012

Dropcam has released an app for Android that’s designed to let users keep an eye on their home while they’re not at home. The $149 camera with a wide-angle lens and infrared vision supports 720p video and can connect to a local wifi network to stream video to the internet. That’s where the Android app comes in. This makes it possible for users to watch their Dropcam feeds in HD from anywhere, including over cellular networks. There’s even alerts for motion detection, so if someone tries to lay a finger on your Butterfinger, you’ll see it. And Dropcam Pro supports 24/7 DVR recording, so you’ll have evidence of what happens. And yes, the DVR functionality works on mobile as well. Plus, with the talkback functionality, it’s possible to talk to whoever’s in front of the camera. This works great as a security camera, as a way to see who’s outside the front door, or for home reenactments of the CBS series Person of Interest. The Dropcam app is available from Google Play, and there is a directory of public Dropcams available online in order to see the quality one can expect from the camera.